Ben Matheson, KDLG - Dillingham
Ben Matheson is a reporter at KNOM in Nome.
Pavlof volcano continues to ground flights in Southwest Alaska. Pen Air put 6 flights on hold Tuesday due to an ash and steam cloud extending up to 20,000 feet.
Over the week-end in Dillingham, Governor Parnell used the occasion of the Rural Providers’ Conference to sign Senator Donny Olson’s bill to create the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council.
The Smithsonian is returning human remains to Shishmaref that were excavated over 80 years ago by a fur trader. The native villages of Gambell and Savoonga will receive 72 funerary objects that date to the great famine of the late 1870s.
Offshore gold miners near Nome will have to stay a half-mile from river mouths and keep a 300 foot distance from fishing nets this summer. DNR and Fish and Game have drafted new stipulations for the 130 mining permits in the works.
Ten men from Savoonga received federal citations today for allegedly violating the Marine Mammal protection act by selling raw ivory to non-natives.
Emergency work is underway to repair the Nome-Council highway after damage from last fall’s Bering Sea storm. Repairing the road is the biggest item in Governor Parnell’s $30 million disaster declaration, with a price tag of $24 million.
Residents of Diomede could soon have weekly helicopter service for the first time since 2009. The state’s recently passed operating budget includes 200 thousand dollars to match a federal subsidy through the Essential Air Service Program. The money still must be approved by the governor.
Thanks to attractive gold prices, a slow job market in the Lower 48, and a recent reality TV show, over 100 offshore miners will set up shop in Nome’s waters this summer. Recreational mining is regulated by the state, but the city of Nome is moving ahead with developing its own permitting and fee system.
Over 100 communities across Alaska will host Choose Respect marches and rallies against domestic violence and sexual assault today. It is the third year of Governor Parnell’s campaign. He has said his goal to eliminate the abuse within a decade, with an emphasis on personal responsibility and peer pressure.
The U.S. Coast Guard will send its newest national security cutter – the 420 foot Bertholf –to the Arctic for this summer’s open water season. That’s in addition to a buoy tender and 2 helicopters. The Guard is preparing for more traffic and anticipated offshore oil drilling through their Arctic Shield effort. If Shell moves ahead with exploratory drilling this summer, the company expects to have 22 vessels in the region and six aircraft. They plan to fly more than 300 trips from land to the drilling rigs to ferry 400 employees around.
Bonanza fuel in Nome has raised prices after last month’s delivery through the ice. Gas is selling at $5.94 a gallon and diesel at $6.19. That’s up from $5.43 and $5.93 a gallon. Sitnasuak Board Chair Jason Evans says the company was waiting until the icebreaker Healy and Russian tanker Renda were safely out of the ice before setting prices.
State Troopers have arrested a man who was firing shots at a house in a Brevig Mission. Nome Trooper Ann Sears says that 53-year-old Roy Henry of Brevig Mission fired three shots Wednesday night at around 10:30 into his neighbor’s home.
Two rural Alaskans have been named to the Federal Subsistence Board. There is currently just one rural member on the board that manages fish and wildlife for subsistence uses on federal public lands and waters.
The Alaska Senate State Affairs committee heard testimony Tuesday on Senator Donny Olson’s bill to create the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council.
The Alaska Senate State Affairs committee heard testimony Tuesday on Senator Donny Olson’s bill to create an Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council. Annette Evans Smith, the President of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, says the time for action on keeping languages alive is now.
The Renda and Healy are out of the ice. After more than a week of cutting through ice up to 4 feet thick, both the tanker Renda and the Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy crossed into open water around 1:00pm Sunday.
Crews in the St. Lawrence Island community of Savoonga are digging to reach contaminated snow after a fuel tank overflowed last Thursday and spilled thousands of gallons of diesel into a containment area. No fuel has breached the containment area.
Recent days have seen a surge in powerful solar flares. The sun’s energized particles are now hitting the earth’s atmosphere and leading to disruptions in amateur radio communication and a boost in northern lights displays.
The Renda’s payload of diesel and unleaded gasoline is almost all pumped into tanks onshore in Nome, and the final price to customers will soon be known.
The Renda has been pumping fuel for about 24 hours now. Sitnasuak Board Chair Jason Evans estimates that about a half million gallons have flowed into the tanks as of this afternoon.